Scientists have concluded that intermittent fasting, also referred to as the 5:2 diet or the 16:8 diet, does help with weight loss, but it’s no better than conventional calorie restriction diets for losing weight. An example of an intermittent fasting diet is feasting for 8 hours and then fasting for 16 hours. Some intermittent fasting studies have shown positive results for metabolic health.
For this current study, 150 obese and overweight individuals were examined over a 1 year period. They were randomly assigned to 3 groups at the beginning of the study: One group followed a conventional diet which reduced daily calorie intake by 20%. The 2nd group followed a 5:2 dietary plan which restricted calorie intake by 20%. A control group did not follow any specific diet plan. All participants were advised to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. After the actual dieting stage, the health status and weight of the participants were documented for an additional 38 weeks.
Health status improvements were found to be the same with both methods of dieting. Participants of both groups lost body weight, and belly fat as well as extra fat in the liver was reduced. Body weight distribution changes were determined exactly making use of special MRT imaging. A body weight reduction of only 5%, no matter which dietary method was used, resulted in a 20% loss of dangerous visceral fat and more than a third of fat in the liver. The investigators also did not find any difference in any other metabolic values between the two dieting methods.
Although the study shows an intermittent fasting diet method to be no superior than conventional calorie restriction diets, it also reveals that this method isn’t any less beneficial. It might also be easier for some people to be disciplined for just 2 days instead of restricting calories every day. The results show that it’s not primarily the dietary method which matters but that it’s more important to follow through with the chosen method, and a balanced diet should be followed in order to maintain the new body weight. Health will benefit from weight loss either way, so long as it’s achieved on the basis of a well-balanced diet.